Indoor infrastructure data gathering made faster, safer, and more efficient

Hovering Solutions is one of the pioneers in the use of smart flying robots (drones) for inspection and 3D mapping of underground infrastructures. The company has developed a drone capable of flying autonomously in environments where the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is not available. The team provides accurate 3D models of surfaces, including real-time point-cloud visualisations and high-definition textures. The system is designed to carry out risk-free inspections and 3D modelling services of underground infrastructures in harsh and risky environments, particularly in the mining sector.

With autonomous flying robots, Hovering Solutions provides a disruptive technology increasing the safety for human operators, improving the data quality and enhancing the efficiency for inspection processes in underground mines. Main customers are mining companies as well as their service providers, including the start-up’s service to increase profitability and safety.

Automation of processes for 3D modelling, auscultation and exploration by autonomous indoor navigation in GNSS-denied environments:

  • Four times faster in horizontal scans
  • Reaching restricted and confined areas
  • Outstanding surface resolution
  • Safer compared to traditional techniques

Hovering Solutions service allows faster, safer, cheaper and more precise auscultation and inspection of stopes, ore passes, shafts and galleries in underground mines, directly impacting the safety of workers.

The journey of a young start-up to a scale-up

Hovering Solutions joined the EIT RawMaterials in 2017 as part of the Booster Call. The Booster funding supported the team to determine the economic and technical viability of using autonomous aerial robots (UAVs/drones) in underground mines, mainly for surface inspections and mapping works. In 2019, the start-up celebrated its first commercial success with services sold and company consolidation.

Through participation in the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator, Hovering Solutions took a leap. The company equity was restructured to reflect the effort of partners and prepare for a round of investment planned. The team was completed with a committed COO-partner for growth in the mining sector and ramped up sales.

EIT RawMaterials business creation support programmes allowed us to redesign and introduce our autonomous flying robots to the underground mining industry. Thanks to this programme and the EIT RawMaterials network, we were able to identify real business cases and develop our robots in major companies in just a few months. Undoubtedly a unique opportunity for the growth and expansion of our company.

Fran Espada, Founder and CEO at Hovering Solutions

Participation in EIT RawMaterials programmes allowed the start-up to reach out to industrial partners of the community in the mining sector to achieve piloting sales and, ultimately, commercial sales.

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